chapter  3
‘New Native’ Palestinian Housing: Plantation as Backdrop for Nationalism 1858–1948
Pages 25

The plantation’s vast area of fields and orchards, its small cluster of serf mud huts, and a mansion for the landlord once dominated the landscape of a ‘new’ Palestine. For a transitory moment in history the plantation presented itself as the landscape of a new society, one where all land-related social ties were to be irrevocably altered, replacing ancient tribal land-based identities with a modern model for capitalist agricultural production. Plantations enabled experimentation with new ways of life on the very large scale of expansive lands, vast accumulated wealth, and exploitation of the landless. But more and more people faced the uneasy realization that the newly developed flatland plantations were the site of their manipulation out of rights and identity, the built environment for a new polity based on dispossession.